A significant battle is still ahead even though the Minnesota Senate and House have now both passed legislation to combat the state’s opioid epidemic. The Senate bill assesses annual fees on drug manufacturers and distributors, which the legislature could decide to cancel in four years, or reduce them sooner if state gets 20 million dollars or more in a national lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry.
“I do believe that a sunset is mandatory,” says Vernon Center Republican Julie Rosen. BUt Roseville Democrat John Marty argues, leave the fees in place permanently to fund needed programs: “This is something we oughta just say, we’re gonna do it and we’re gonna do it right now.”
Governor Tim Walz says about fees on drug manufacturers and distributors, “I think it should be based on the outcomes of what happens with the addictions, the overdoses, and what we’re seeing with the problems of it.”